Kansas City mainstream media hasn't given a city council recall story very much play but, nevertheless, over the weekend a significant milestone was achieved.
To wit . . .
KANSAS CITY PRO-POLICE ACTIVISTS FILED PETITIONS TO RECALL COUNCILMAN ERIC BUNCH!!! WORD IS ORGANIZERS EXCEEDED THEIR SIGNATURE GOAL!!!
"We are thrilled to report that we tuned in the signed petitions to recall 4th District Councilman Eric Bunch.
"Actions have consequences and today the 4th district is holding Bunch accountable.
"Thank you to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly for the last 30 days.
"Today we have a win for Kansas City. Although this is just the first step of the process we celebrate this VICTORY."
The back story on why the petition was launched . . .
In January, Bunch called for the resignation of the Kansas City Chief of Police amid pressure from the Defund the Police movement. Take KC Back said the call for resignation was “without merit” and that Bunch “[bowed] to the radical protestors who also call for defunding the police.”
“We believe that Councilman Eric Bunch should be fired, not our Chief of Police,” the press release said. “That is why today, we filed an affidavit with the city clerk to start the recall process of Councilman Eric Bunch.”
The group also referenced the KC City Council’s vote in May to “reallocate” over $42 million away from the Kansas City Police Department, of which Bunch voted in support of.
“Bunch voted to defund KCPD by over 42 million dollars without constituent input and without guarantee that the money would go back to the police department,” the press release continued.
Now . . .
The city clerk must check to see if there are enough valid signatures to meet the recall threshold.
If not, petitioners will have an additional 30 days to meet their goal.
At any point in the process Councilman Bunch can pose a court challenge and argue that the recall petition doesn't satisfy requirements of "malfeasance or misfeasance" laid out by the city charter. Locals have noticed councilman has stepped up his fundraising game as of late.
However . . .
Consider . . . Councilman Bunch could have started a legal challenge against the recall the second his opponents filed their petition but he hasn't taken that route so far.
If/when petitions are certified . . . The council has a bit of leeway regarding placement of the issue on the ballot . . . However, if we use the MLK/Paseo rename vote as a guide . . . This council seems to want avoid any lawsuits and they typically act quickly to citizen initiative petitions.
Interestingly . . .
Behind the scenes, insiders have told TKC that this recall is merely the first step to push back against actions by Mayor & Council. The group plans to build on their momentum and demonstrate that most Kansas City voters don't agree with recent anti-police sentiment from 12th & Oak.
Developing . . .